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External Sector Performance - December 2015

Sri Lanka’s external sector showed a mixed performance in the month of December 2015 with a widened trade deficit, continued high growth in tourist earnings and moderate workers’ remittances. On a cumulative basis, the trade deficit widened marginally during 2015, while earnings from tourism increased significantly. Meanwhile, workers’ remittances recorded a marginal decline in 2015. The major source of inflows to the financial account of the BOP during 2015 were the issuance of two international sovereign bonds and swap arrangement of the Reserve Bank of India.

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Inflation in January 2016

Inflation, as measured by the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) (2013=100), which is compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics, decreased to -0.7 per cent in January 2016 from 4.2 per cent in December 2015, on year-on-year basis mainly due to the higher base of the corresponding period in 2015. Annual average NCPI inflation decreased to 2.9 per cent in January 2016 from 3.8 per cent recorded in December 2015.

Monetary Policy Review - February 2016

Broad money (M2b) continued to grow at a high pace, recording a growth of 17.8 per cent (year-on-year) in December 2015 compared to 13.4 per cent in December 2014. The year-on-year growth of credit granted to the private sector by commercial banks accelerated during the year, with a growth of 25.1 per cent in December 2015 in comparison to 8.8 per cent in December 2014. In absolute terms, the expansion in private sector credit during 2015 amounted to Rs. 691.4 billion compared to Rs. 223.9 billion in 2014.

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